A former mixed martial arts fighter, Justin True was no stranger to pushing through unimaginable pain to win in the octagon. However, this pain was different, and too much for him to overcome.
True’s first attempt to take his own life was not successful, so he tried again. When the second attempt also failed, True had a fundamental shift in his outlook on life. He emerged wanting to turn his life around, and to help others who are suffering and feeling hopeless. Since that day, True’s life has been a calling to help others.
“Being tortured by my brother, being held at knife point, water boarded, torched, and locked in dog kennels growing up that it taught me that no matter what card your dealt with you have to keep going,” True said. “You have to keep fighting and get back up.”
True’s new outlook on life has pushed him to create the True Triathlon — a roughly 50-mile swim from Key Largo, FL to Key Biscayne, FL, 3400-mile bike ride to San Diego, CA, and a 600-mile run in an effort to raise $500,000 for Mental Health Awareness Month. True also hopes to break the stigma surrounding mental health while showing others the “undeniable power of speaking their truth.”
While this might seem like a physically insurmountable task, True’s past mental and physical challenges have prepared him for this new test. His past endeavors include completing a tandem 150-mile bike ride through the Cascades in Oregon state, an Olympic Triathlon carrying a 90-pound concrete Thor hammer, a marathon while pulling a truck 26.2 miles, and a 29-day, nearly 500-mile, walk across Madagascar in which he encountered numerous life-threatening situations.
“The triathlon is such a perfect metaphor for what I’m trying to convey, ” True said. “Swimming in the ocean symbolizes life’s waves — sometimes you can't tell up from down, but eventually you’re going to hit a clear spot and at some point the rough part’s going to end.”
A hybrid-athlete who loves action sports, adventure sports and extreme sports, True found a passion for pushing himself to the limit early on through mixed-martial arts. He trained out of Bend, Oregon and traveled all around the world to hone his skill, including to gyms across the United States, Netherlands, Belgium and Asia. Still to this day, he draws on lessons he learned in the octagon to help him push through crippling depression and inspire others.
“Back in the fighting days, when pinned against the cage you had one of two options: Get up and keep fighting or accept defeat and get beat down even more,” True said. “You need to keep fighting whether it’s against life or the emotions in your head telling you to give up. Even if it’s just one more second those seconds add up to minutes then to days eventually those battles add up to winning the war.”
True hopes that the triathlon will serve as both and a platform for discussing mental health and a fundraising catalyst. He has invited anyone who is willing to join him along his route for as long as they would like. As he undertakes each leg, he hopes well-known athletes, actors, musicians and thought leaders will join Justin for segments, creating space to share their own stories. True plans to document the True Triathlon and the stories shared along the way as part of a feature film.
“When you’re struggling with depression, the next day might be tough, the next week might be tough, but eventually you’re going to hit a spot that’s so cool,” True said. “The struggle will always be worth it.”
Annie Hughes was everything we thought and more. Her positive, happy energy really comes through. On this podcast we talk about what it is like to be the youngest female champion of the Leadville 100 and Moab 240. Annie shares fun stories about some of her other adventures and what drives her to keep pushing for more. We also discuss the influence other female ultra-runners have had on her. Annie embraces living and training in Leadville and shares some of her creative runs. We are excited to see what she does next!
Anthony Costales is a Junior High PE teacher and Ultra-Trail runner from Salt Lake City, UT where he lives with his wife Katie, 16-month-old daughter Piper, and their cattle dog Brighton. Born and raised in Northern California he started running in 6th grade after his Jr High PE teacher suggested he go out for the cross-country team, having no idea what that was, he showed up and the rest is history. He ran XC/Track at his local high school and continued on competing for American River Junior College and Chico State University. After obtaining his bachelor's in Kinesiology and teaching credential, Anthony moved to Utah and spent a few years road racing in distances from 10K to marathon, he then started the transition to trails. In 2018 he ran his first Ultra at the Moab Red Hot 55K and has now competed in distances from 50 miles, 100K, and 100 miles.
Anthony was so much fun to chat with. He is a very focused and disciplined runner who juggles family and career responsibilities and manages to excel in the ultra-world. We talk about his experience qualifying for the 2018 US long distance mountain running team and winning the Canyons 100k which earned him a Western States Golden ticket. We also discuss balancing teaching and running and share a few laughs about it. I loved hearing Anthony talk about the impact his High School coach has had on the trajectory of his life. This is a good one! Enjoy!
We had so much fun chatting with Brittany. We talk about the transition from road to mountain running and the importance of keeping it fun. We discuss how she balances working and running as a professional athlete. Brittany gives some great advice on this topic. We also had a great conversation about the struggle with comparison to other athletes. We are excited to watch Brittany this year at Western States. Brittany is one of those people you instantly like. We think you will enjoy getting to know her a little better.
Hector Rodriguez is a husband, father of two girls and an Ultra Endurance athlete that resides in San Diego, CA. Since 2020, he has competed in over 20 Ultramarathons all over the country. His resume includes multiple 100+ milers on treadmills, top 5 finishes in 24/48-hour races, and four 200+ races including the Triple Crown of 200s in 2021. Hector is also very passionate about giving back to his community.
Hector has this amazing energy that makes you smile and pulls you in. We had so much fun chatting with him. Inspired by David Goggins, Can’t Hurt Me book Hector has mastered the mental toughness it takes to keep going no matter what. We talked about the life changing experience that happened during the Moab 240 and running the Triple Crown of 200’s. We also discuss Hector’s running community, the Wolfpack and how they helped him stay focused with training through COVID. Hector believes to build a life of your dreams you have to help people build theirs. We talk about why that is important to him and how he is using his website as a platform for that mission. We are big fans of Hector and you will be too!
Instagram - @hrod619
Website - www.wolfpackendurance.com
Training for Ultra is the brainchild of ultramarathon runner Rob Steger and includes a website, an Amazon TV series, multiple films, a self-published book, and a globally ranked podcast. Rob started running in 2015 and since then he has run 30 ultramarathons including four 200-milers. He is currently getting into race directing and recently hosted his first virtual 50k! On his podcast, Training for Ultra, he has hosted numerous guests including Eliud Kipchoge, Courtney Dauwalter, Camille Herron, Dean Karnazes and many other fascinating people from the running world. Rob hopes to use his platform to inspire people to enjoy running and find fulfillment in life through healthier lifestyles and more time outside.
We were so honored to be able to talk with Rob. He is very busy with several projects going on, we had to pull him away from editing for our chat. We had some questions lined up, but our conversation went in another direction. Rob shares his struggles with dyslexia and how he embraced his learning difference and used it to succeed in many areas “Embrace failure and learn from it”. We also talk about Running the Triple Crown and the why behind it. Rob is someone who cares about helping others and is using his platform to support and encourage people. This was a very special episode. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Podcast - The Training For Ultra Podcast
Instagram - @TrainingForUltra
FaceBook - Rob Steger (Training For Ultra)
Twitter - Training4Ultra
YouTube - TrainingForUltra
Beth Freymiller is a wife, mom of three girls, engineer, yoga teacher, cyclist, and trail runner with a passion for being active in the outdoors. Beth was a college track and field and cross-country athlete. She took a long break from running after college just returning to the sport in 2020 as a trail runner. Since then, she has completed two 50k’s and one 100k. Beth is also active as a cyclist who competes in endurance races on gravel, mountain and fat bikes. Beth is a total bad ass with an unbelievable drive and focus. She is also highly proficient at driving her coach nuts by signing up for too many races.
We had a great chat with our friend and fellow Team BU member. Beth embodies focus and determination, she believes in herself and is always striving for more. Beth is not just a runner but an avid biker, we discuss her dedication to both running and biking. She talks about her big goals and how she is balancing family and work life to make them happen. We also talk about the importance and impact of the running and biking community. After you listen to this one you just might feel like stepping up your game and tackling some big goals.
Sarah Cummings is a marathon, ultramarathon and ultra-trail runner. She is a 2-time Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier (2:34.47 personal best) and 3-time member of Team USA (Road 50K x2, Pan American Games Marathon). In 2014, she was 10th at the Chicago Marathon.
Sarah started her running career at Corona del Mar HS in Newport Beach, CA and continued at Princeton University where she graduated in 2011 with a degree in Economics. While at Princeton, Sarah was a 4-time Ivy League Champion and earned All-America honors in 2009 in the 10K. In 2017, following a near career ending hamstring surgery, Sarah discovered her love for the trails while on a "runcation" in the Dolomites. It was only in 2020 that she got the chance to trail run and adventure on a regular basis after moving from New York City to Park City, Utah.
Sarah's top ultra and ultra-trail performances include a win at the 2021 JFK 50mi in 6:18.43 (and a runner up finish in 2020), overall (M/F) win and CR at the 2021 Arches 50mi, win and CR at the 2021 Antelope Island 50K, and a win at the Hardloop 50K in 3:19.15 (Road 50K PR). Sarah was named #5 2021 UltraRunner of the Year by UltraRunner Magazine.
Sarah is a winter sports aficionado. She loves snowboarding, splitboarding, nordic skiing, and ice skating. Sarah is an assistant coach for the Park City High School Cross Country team.
“Accept what your body is willing to give and stay present”. Wise words from Sarah Cummings! Sarah takes us through her running career and how she came to be one of the top trail runners of 2021. We also talk about what inspired her move from New York to Utah. Sarah also talks about her almost career ending injury and how she came through it. Sarah has so much gratitude and it really comes through when you talk to her. We are excited to follow along with Sarah’s running journey and are rooting for her. We know you will be too!
What a fun and inspiring conversation we had with Will. He is one of a kind in the best way. We got to know Will from the COVID season of Becoming Ultra, he was one of two people selected to run their first 50k. Since then, Will’s life has taken a few turns. Diagnosed with tonsil cancer, he never let that stop him from setting goals and doing hard things to help others. Subsequently, Will discovered he has cancer in his lymph nodes. Still can’t stop this guy! His mindset and positive attitude are amazing. This one is full of fun talk and lots of inspiration. We feel so fortunate to know Will and hope you enjoy this one.
If you are considering a trail camp or running vacation this one is for you. Erica talks about her latest stage race and trail camps. Her enthusiasm, support and attention to detail will make you want to go for it. Erica is also an ultra-runner with some impressive races under her belt. We talk about how her career in music production and passion for running made the transition into running camps and vacations the perfect fit. One of my favorite parts of this podcast was Erica talking about change. We think her superpower is being happy and making others happy. I hope you enjoy this one as much as we did!
Carly and I really enjoyed this conversation with Sabrina. One of the things that stands out about her is her understanding of priorities and how they change. Running helps her maintain a well-ordered life and live a morally good life. We discuss her philosophy research and the impact it has had on her own relationship with running. We also talk about running for Team USA. Sabrina shares how her love of running has changed since the birth of her daughter; her order of loves is how she describes it. There is so much more we could talk with Sabrina about, we told her she would make the perfect dinner guest. I know you will enjoy this conversation with Sabrina as much as we did.
Jessica’s story has sadness and challenges, but she does not dwell on that. Instead, she chooses to pay it forward and live with joy. Jessica takes us back to her cancer diagnosis and how she was determined to continue to grow her family despite the diagnosis. We discuss how running has changed for her over the last 5 years and how important movement is to her healing. Jessica believes that by helping others it helps her which is why she created the website www.carebetter.org. Jessica has learned a lot throughout her journey and shares her wisdom with us. Sometimes you meet someone who without even trying makes you want to do better. That would be Jessica! I hope you enjoy this one and it inspires you to pay it forward.
Stevie Kremer was born in Germany and moved to Connecticut when she was just under a year old because her dad was transferred with a German bank. She grew up playing soccer (even though she was terrible), tennis, and golf, and ran indoor track to keep in shape. After high school, she attended Colorado College where she obtained a bachelor’s degree, followed by a master’s in education. It was in September of her senior year at CC that she ran her first marathon-it was a dirt road marathon in Boulder an she loved it. After graduating, Stevie moved with a friend to Crested Butte, CO, where she spent a year working for CBMR (Crested Butte Mountain Resort), then moved into a role as a 3rd grade teacher. Stevie enjoyed running, she primarily ran on roads where she felt safer from animals and couldn't get lost as easily. She had no idea about the trails. After a few years of running around the very few roads in CB, she was convinced to do a local trail race. Although she walked more than she ran, it opened her up to trail running. Not only did she discover a love of the trails but found friends that would run with her on the trails. That's when it all began. Stevie soon started racing all around Colorado. In 2012 she signed a one-year contract to teach in Italy, this started her racing career in Europe where she ran everywhere. Now she is a middle school counselor in Crested Butte, in the same school where she was an elementary teacher for 10 years, with a little 3-year-old and still loves running!
This was a fun one! Stevie is full of energy and enthusiasm. She shares with us the struggles of juggling single parenting, a career and running. Stevie is very candid about her personal struggles and how she overcame them to find joy, laughter, and happiness. Stevie has a rich running history that has taken her to some incredible places. We talk about her Pike’s Peak Ascent win, two times and her most memorable race. We could have chatted for hours. Enjoy!
No matter how hard it gets there is always light at the end of the tunnel if you are able to look up. These are words Louise would remind herself of often. On this podcast Louise is candid about her traumatic childhood with an abusive father and the impact that had on her adult life. We discuss how Louise went from relying on alcohol and sugar to cope to becoming a vegan and runner. There are probably so many of us that can relate to Louise and her story. She is on a mission to share her story in the hopes that other people will be inspired to make positive changes.
In 2020, Dave knew he had to make changes to his life so he could be around for his family. In June of 2020, he tried running but struggled at his weight with knee pain. After seeing a doctor, the doctor said, “Your old and fat. Don’t run. It’s hard on the body. Get a bike.” And so, he did just that and started biking and losing weight. In December after significant weight loss, he tried running again and the rest is history. He completed his bike training completing a century ride and began running daily. Dave through diet and exercise lost 80lbs. Dave completed the Goggins 4x4x48 Challenge in March and ran is first marathon in April and then first 50k in October.
Dave and Jenn have been married for 10 years (they even celebrated their 10-year anniversary by running their first ultra the day after). Dave and Jenn have a blended family of 6 grown children, 1 almost grown and 4 grandchildren. They love being able to challenge themselves individually, but also love getting out there and exploring the world together. Dave and Jenn completed their 2nd ultra, just a month after their first 50k taking on the 50-mile distance, They crossed the finish line hand in hand just 7 minutes before the cutoff (Dave officially securing the DFL spot). They are excited for what 2022 has in store for them.
Whether you run with your partner or are thinking about it, this episode is for you. We hear the good, the bad, and the ugly from our Becoming Ultra friends, Dave & Jenn. This husband-and-wife duo have experienced the best and worst together. From what drives them to recovering from frustrating injuries, we have an honest conversation about all of it. We also talk about their first ultra together and a month later a 50 miler as well as what is next for them. This couple will inspire you to grab your partner and hit the trails!
Ricky Haro was born and raised in Montana. He hated running as a kid, it wasn’t until his Sophomore year that the cross-country coach worked with him to complete his first mile and tried to convince him to be part of the track team. Ricky moved to Arizona in 1994 and joined the cross-country team. Coach Mark Hudson, who is still a great friend and mentor showed Ricky so much about outdoor recreation. Ricky qualified for Nationals but suffered a quad injury and was on crutches for months. Eventually he dropped out of college and joined the military. Ricky became a SERE specialist in the Air Force (Survival Evasion, Resistance, and Escape specialist). The Air Force’s experts in all things related to someone being separated from support and in need of rescue, they train all aircrew personnel on how to handle themselves if they are caught up in hostile territory. This is where Ricky learned about endurance, grit and the will to survive. From 2005-2011 Ricky did not run a single day due to IT band syndrome and core imbalances. In 2012 Ricky decided to dedicate an entire year to running and see what happened. Ricky continued running and completed the Rome marathon; Magredi Mountain Trail 100; Blue Ridge Marathon; Marathon Des Sables; placed 5th in the Mogollon 100 just to name a few. In 2016 Ricky did the Badwater 146 solo while pushing a baby jogger of supplies. Currently Ricky gets high praises for being an amazing crew leader; serves on the Board of Band of Runners; Race Director for Kaniksu Ultras and overseas many adventures with his company, Rare Earth Adventures.
Have you ever heard so many good things about someone then meet them and they lived up to all those wonderful words? Yep, that is Ricky. This guy is a running, crewing bad ass in the ultra-world. We caught up with Ricky on a break from his Across the Years multi-day running event. Ricky shared some amazing crewing stories and how to excel at crewing. I personally used all his advice the following weekend and everything went great. We also talked about his Badwater 146 experiences. Ricky is a race director and owns an adventure company. We could have listened to his adventure stories for hours. Ricky also shares with us personal stories about his childhood and one of the most significant people in his life, his Grandfather. There is something for everyone in this podcast so sit back and enjoy.
IG - rareearthrunner
Liza Howard is a longtime ultrarunner and running coach. Since her first ultra in 2008, she has won numerous 100-mile races including the Leadville 100 twice and multiple USATF Championships in the 50 mile and 100k distances. She completed the Marathon des Sables, a multi-day stage race in the Sahara Desert, twice, and ran for the United States at the 100k World Championships in Croatia in 2018. She’s currently training for the Badwater 135, which will be held in Death Valley this July.
In addition to running, Liza coaches for Sharman Ultra Coaching, teaches for NOLS Wilderness Medicine, and directs Band of Runners, a non-profit that supports veterans and their surviving family members by introducing them to trail running and the trail running community.
Liza lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband and two school-aged children. Sometimes she cleans the house too.
Manny is a former Infantry Marine Reservist who deployed to Iraq in 2007 and Afghanistan in 2010 with 1st Marines, 23rd Battalion Alpha Company. While inactive from duty from 2006 to 2013, Manny worked as Personal Trainer who Specialized in Obstacle Course Training. Races like the Tough Mudder and Spartan are what first introduced him to trail running. Fast forward to 2019 - Manny is suffering from reoccurring running injuries and is told by his VA doctors that he should seriously consider not running. Fate said otherwise when he met Rob, who then got him in the Band of Runners Trail Running Camp, where he learned the skills to prevent injury and improve his running and met a community of trail runners who are all eager to see him succeed. And through the help and mentoring of the BOR community, Manny ran his first successful 50k at Hoka One Bandera, a virtual 50k hosted by BOR, his first 50 miler and 100k, and his first 100-mile race at the Badger. Now, through the Samaritan Center, Manny serves the community as a Mental Health Peer Coordinator where he coordinates and facilitates - mentoring, PTSD, substance abuse, life skills, and wellness groups - for Veterans in the Greater Austin community and helps run the Veteran’s Re-Entry Dorm at the Travis State Jail for the Texas Department of Criminal justice. Manny is currently training for the Caballo Blanco Ultra, formerly known as the Copper Canyon Ultra.
We had a lot of fun on this one! Liza has some great stories to tell, and she tells them with so much humor. We talk about how she balances training for the Badwater 135 with family life and a nagging hamstring injury. Liza shares her witty take on her Instagram posts after a long break from social media. Most importantly, we discuss Liza’s passion project, Band of Runners. This is an important program that really makes a difference in the lives of Veteran’s. Manny is a Veteran who participated in the program and then became a mentor. He has a caring heart and lives a purposeful life of helping others. He shares his experience with Band of Runners and how it has changed his life. Manny also talks about his many Ultra’s and battling through injuries. We know you will enjoy getting to know Liza & Manny and learning more about Band of Runners. These are two very special people. Enjoy!
Kriste Peoples is a Denver-based outdoor enthusiast and guide, runner, writer, and mindfulness meditation teacher. When she's not out adventuring along the trails of Colorado’s Front Range, Kriste is likely writing about it or recovering with carbs in a local eatery. Her work has been published in Trail Runner Magazine, Outdoor Research, Altra Running’s Run Better blog, Outside Magazine, Elevations Outdoors, and others. As Program Manager for the Women’s Wilderness Trailblazers program, she creates nature-based events that cultivate a greater sense of agency, community, and engagement in nature among women of color. Kriste offers talks that address increasing the representation of people of color in nature. She has facilitated workshops, participated in panels, and delivered online trainings at conferences such as PGM One, Outdoor Retailer, REI, Summit Sisters, and more. She serves on the board of Running Start nonprofit, an organization dedicated to helping women overcome obstacles to fitness. She is a trail running coach for Life’s Too Short Fitness, has coached for Black Girls Run, and led nature-based outings for organizations that include CitiWild and Outdoor Afro. In addition to her passion for introducing women and people of color to new narratives of wellness, she is the founder of the Black and Brown Women’s Alliance, which provides mindfulness-based in-person and online events that prioritize wellness, self-care, and collective healing.
“Giving yourself grace to meet yourself where you are on that day” I love this quote from Kriste. Talking to Kriste is a wonderful, enlightening experience. Hearing her talk about her love of the outdoors makes you want to lace up and head right outside. On this episode Kriste talks about how being mindful and meditation has improved her life. We discuss how she is empowering other women and what she is most passionate about as well as the importance of self-care. I had a few light bulb moments as I listened. We also talk about her community involvement and where change still needs to happen. Kriste is someone we could talk to for hours. Enjoy!
Let's reminisce about the past six months of amazing guests!
Kris and Carly take a walk back into time and recap the amazing guests they have had in 2021. Fabulous times...lots of laughs and some tears.
A big huge thank you to all of our listeners!
Jacky Hunt-Broersma is an amputee, cancer survivor, and ultra-runner who has only been running for the past five years. Originally from South Africa, Jacky currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children. Being an amputee has not stopped Jacky from accomplishing some big goals such as her first 40-mile trail race, the TransRockies stage race and 100 miles on her treadmill in less than 24 hours.
Have you ever met someone that inspires you? I mean deep down inspiration! Meeting Jacky gave us a feeling of inspiration and awe that is hard to match. Jacky was not a runner before her leg was amputated, she became a runner after. Most people wouldn’t even think that was a possibility. Jacky is not like most people. Her motto is you are stronger than you think you are, and she lives it. She doesn’t focus on where she was, she focuses on what where she wants to be. I find myself thinking of this conversation often. I know you will enjoy Jacky’s story and wisdom as much as we did.
Amanda runs to stay halfway sane, and to spend time with her amazing friend and running partner, Alissa. Which means she runs a lot. Amanda has been running for nearly 30 years and has done all sorts of races with a primary goal to run until she is an old lady. When she is not running, she is leading the Institute for Religion, Politics & Culture at Iliff School of Theology, working her way toward a PhD, writing, and speaking, and parenting 3 teen/ young adults. Amanda ran her first marathon in 2001 and it was so horrible it took her 11 years to run another... and she hasn’t stopped since. Ten years ago, she was lucky enough to move into the house directly behind Alissa they quickly discovered that they were both runners, and even better, found that they ran a similar pace and had more in common than she ever could have imagined. Amanda & Alissa did their first ultra in the summer of 2019- the Bear Creek 50K, and just survived the Bear Creek 50 mile.
Alissa is a research faculty at the University of Denver and has dedicated her professional life to education. Personally, she is the mother of 2 and it was motherhood that propelled her into running about 18 years ago. She ran her first half marathon in 2013 and her first marathon in 2015. She has run 3 marathons, a 50K and most recently a 50-mile race. Alissa describes running as her coffee, her happy hour, her social time, her therapy, her time in the outdoors … and oh yeah… and exercise.
“Today well lived makes every yesterday a memory of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.” We had such a great time discussing friendship and trail running. This one will make you want to grab your bestie and hit the trails. Amanda & Alissa tell the story of their friendship and love of running. We discuss how beneficial having a good friend is during runs and races. These beautiful ladies have a wonderful bond that has been strengthened by lots of miles. Their support of each other will leave you inspired.
Ryan Steiner is an unlikely ultra runner. Ryan spent most of his life extremely overweight topping off at over 700lbs, currently he has lost over 400lbs of that. Ryan is autistic and has a complicated relationship with food. In the last few years, he has overcome this complicated relationship with the help of his 5-year-old daughter, Kala and their mutual love of running for hours. Ryan and Kala just finished their first ultra 50k together at the Hennepin Hundred, on October 3. Ryan pushed Kala the entire way in a stroller that he calls the chariot. This next year, Ryan promises, will be even more epic for the duo! As a stay-at-home dad Ryan and Kala spend all their time together. These two are best friends with a symbiotic relationship that will fill your heart.
Have you ever met someone that changes the way you look at something? We are excited to share Ryan’s story with you. Ryan talks about being autistic and immersing himself in running. He shares with us the long journey of weight loss and how moving his body and running have changed his life. Once you hear his unique perspective on DNF’s I promise you will think differently about them. Ryan lights up when he talks about his daughter Kala and the special bond they share. Ryan is an incredibly kind and positive person. This was a very special podcast for us. I know you will think so too!
Jen didn’t realize where running could take her until she was in her late 20s. She grew up in small town rural Ohio where she dabbled in multiple sports, but credits years of competitive gymnastics with leaving her strong, athletic, and disciplined. A rigorous graduate school program led to a Doctorate in Physical Therapy but left little time for training. At the age of 25, she began training with friends and her husband to run a half marathon, despite not being able to comfortably run more than a mile. Realizing that running doesn’t have to be a form of punishment, Jen raced more road half marathons with a dream of completing a marathon that was never fulfilled due to injuries, a demanding job and the birth of her daughter. Her love of trail running began when she discovered obstacle course racing, tough Mudders and Spartan Races. A few trail half marathon finishes and the documentary “How to Run 100 Miles”, sparked her interest in trying to run farther than a half marathon. A pandemic, turning 40, a leave of absence from her job and virtual learning for her daughter, her interest suddenly became a reality. Jen decided to “go big or go home” and registered for (and finished!) the OPSF 50K which is hailed as the “toughest trail race in Indiana” for her first ultra in March 2021, followed by Dances with Dirt 50K in May and is now training for the Jackson County 50K in southern Indiana in December. She currently lives in flat central Indiana with her supportive husband and her 7-year-old daughter. She hopes she can be an inspiration to anyone that is hesitant to do big things, no matter what those might be. Ultra running has taught Jen that you’ll never know what you are capable of if you never try. And this is just the beginning of her own ultra journey.
“Find something big that lives inside you” Jen did just that, she is getting ready to conquer her third ultra marathon in one year. This was a great talk about balance and carving out time for yourself. On this episode Jen also talks about overcoming fears and not giving up. Jen’s story is so relatable because like so many of us, she is a busy wife, mother and career women trying to strike a balance and achieve her personal goals. Jen will inspire you to go for it!
Sally McRae ( aka yellowrunner) is a professional ultra runner who has run some of the worlds greatest trail races such as the Western States 100, Ultra trail (da moan blanc) du Mont Blanc and the Badwater 135, 2021 women’s champion. Sally is also a wife and mother of two, coach, motivational speaker, and writer. Sally started running long distances after college and discovered trail running in 2010. She fell in love with the trail community and opportunities the races brought to explore the world. Her competitiveness and speed made her a standout in the trail community. Sally is passionate about inspiring others around her to live their best life.
Have you ever met someone you feel like you could talk to forever? That is how we felt chatting it up with Salley McRae. She is a beautiful person inside and out. On this episode Sally shares parts of her life that shaped her into the grateful, optimistic, happy person she chooses to be. She also talks about how she manages her busy career and parenting and of course, mom guilt. Find out where the name Yellowrunner came from and what Sally is up to these days. This one was special; we hope you enjoy it as much as we did.